3D printing giant 3D Systems has experienced a terrible year and a change in leadership, and seems to be backing away from consumer products, meaning that it’s orphaned its Cube home 3D printers.
But the Cube was born dead, because it was born with DRM. It only accepts filament – its 3D equivalent to inkjet ink – that comes in a package that’s been cryptographically signed by the manufacturer. Thanks to laws like the US DMCA, the European Union Copyright Directive and Canada’s Bill C-11, it’s a crime to defeat this measure and load third-party filament into your printer. That means that once the existing stock of Cube filament is gone, there will be no legal way to keep using your Cube printer.
The US Copyright Office did grant a three-year, expiring exceptionallowing 3D printer owners to jailbreak their devices, but it has so many conditions as to be unusable, and it also doesn’t grant an exception for the tools necessary to jailbreak your printer. So even if you satisfy the criteria, you still have to make your own jailbreaking tool from scratch.
Michael Weinberg points out that 3DS can do two things to make up for their stupid DRM strategy: